House Fires Caused by Fire Pits Oct, 2012

The dangers of backyard fire pits - news and op/ed

House Fires Caused by Fire Pits Oct, 2012

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:12 pm

Embers blamed for fire that destroys Vt. home
Couple makes it out safe
Published 4:40 PM EDT Sep 23, 2012

CAMBRIDGE, Vt. — Vermont officials are blaming embers from an outdoor fire pit for a fire that destroyed a home in Cambridge.

Officials say firefighters were called to the home of Norman and Susan Miller at 11:15 p.m. Saturday. The back of the house was engulfed in flames when crews arrived, and the house was unable to be saved.

Authorities say the Millers were awakened by smoke alarms and their barking dog. Norman Miller was treated and released for burns to the bottom of his feet and his fingertips.

Fire officials say the blaze has been ruled as accidental and most likely started when embers blew out of an outdoor fire pit and landed on outdoor furniture near the residence.

source
http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-yo ... index.html

____________________________________________________________________________

Cambridge home destroyed by blaze
Posted: Sep 23, 2012 8:47 PM EDT Updated: Sep 25, 2012 6:55 PM EDT
By WCAX News - bio | email


CAMBRIDGE, Vt. - Fire flattened a house in Cambridge Saturday night.

Fire fighters responded to the home on Thompson Road a little after 11 p.m. The house was already fully involved. The residents were able to make it out, but one suffered burns attempting to extinguish the fire.

"Both were home -- both were asleep. Apparently a dog and a smoke detector woke them up. They were able to get out, but from what I understand he went back in and that's when he sustained burns to his feet," said Dan Wychoff, with the Cambridge Fire Department.

Two cats were unable to escape the residence and perished in the fire. The fire was ruled accidental and was most likely started when embers from an outdoor fire pit ignited outdoor furniture near the residence.

source
http://www.wcax.com/story/19618416/camb ... d-by-blaze

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Loveland Fire Rescue Authority makes short work of house fire
No injuries reported
By Jessica Maher Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Posted: 09/30/2012 04:14:17 PM MDT

Lingering embers from a fire pit in the backyard of a Kremmling Drive residence have been eyed as the culprits of a blaze that broke out there Sunday afternoon.

According to resident Joanna Anderson, the family had a campfire in the backyard Saturday night.

"We think it was the embers from the fire pit," she said.

The family was home at 3846 Kremmling Drive when the fire broke out; a neighbor spotted smoke from the backside exterior of the house around 1 p.m. and alerted the residents and the authorities, according to Loveland Fire Rescue Authority Battalion Chief Tim Smith.

There were no reported injuries to residents, firefighters or the four animals inside the home.

The fire caught the backside of a single garage port and extended into the attic space of the garage, said Smith. The exterior and interior of the garage sustained extensive damage but no living space was impacted.

The fire was under control within half an hour and crews remained on scene to ensure there was no further extension into the house.

Coals from Saturday night's fire were covered with dirt and then placed in a yard recycling bin next to the house on Sunday morning. While Smith said that covering coals with dirt will suffice in making sure the fire is out, that does not take care of the heat coming from the coals.

"It's a good reminder to make sure the coals are out and cold," he said.

Kremmling Drive was closed for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon while firefighters remained on scene.

Jessica Maher can be reached at 669-5050, ext. 516, or maherj@reporter-herald.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JessicaMaherRH.

source
http://www.reporterherald.com/news/love ... work-house

____________________________________________________________________________


Jennifer Walker
Sep 19, 2012 - 4:30 PM

Uxbridge man handed bill for $1,300 after backyard bonfire
Politicians wait for photos to decide if fee should be forgiven

UXBRIDGE -- An Uxbridge man has been given a $1,300 invoice after a neighbour called the Uxbridge Fire Department about his backyard bonfire.

Kirk Hugh has asked Uxbridge councillors to forgive the fee even though he did not have a burn permit on the August night he decided to burn shrubs at his home on Mill Run Gate.

Mr. Hugh told councillors Monday that he started the fire in his yard after trimming the shrubs. The fire was almost out when he went inside and left his cousin outside to supervise the pit, he said.

Fire officials arrived after a neighbour called with concerns, said Uxbridge Fire Chief Scott Richardson, who added three trucks were dispatched for the Aug. 21 call. Firefighters doused the fire pit.

"My cousin was watching and my neighbours always have fires," said Mr. Hugh, adding that he had no idea that a permit was needed. "They told me I might not get fined."

But an invoice from the fire department showed up in his mailbox, he said.

"I immediately went and got a permit; I knew nothing about the fire laws. I spoke to my neighbours and half of them didn't even know they needed a permit," he said during a committee meeting at town hall Monday. "This is my first offence."

Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor said the permit requirements had been well publicized by the municipality.

"Whoever told you they didn't know you had to have a permit ... they're talking through their hat," she said. "It is certainly well advertised in the community that permits are needed."

While Mr. Hugh has received a bill for $1,300, it costs the taxpayers $1,400 to dispatch one truck, she added.

"Our taxpayers are paying that and when we are being called out to non-fire activities it is certainly costing our municipality."

According to Chief Richardson, Mr. Hugh has been issued a "fee for service" under a municipal bylaw as the fire department is unable to issue fines.

"Council has approved the bylaw and where necessary the fire department enforces that bylaw," he said in an interview.

According to the bylaw, which can be found on the township website, any person who fails to comply can be hit with fees for service. People can be charged $410 per hour per fire department vehicle, and $205 per half hour per vehicle for each additional half hour.

"Remember, it is a fee for service, if they have a permit ... if they are burning in conformance with the bylaw and the permit, there is no charge," said Chief Richardson.

He said according to the incident report, the resident was burning brush as well as construction materials and left the pit unattended after dark.

But he also noted that Mr. Hugh might have received the invoice even if he had a burn permit because the fire was still going after dark.

"Fires after dark are only permitted for recreational purposes," he said. "Corn roasts and marshmallows."

Chief Richardson said the size of the fire also determines if it was meant for recreational purposes but he was unable to provide politicians with the dimensions or photos of the fire at the meeting.

"I would say by looking at the report, it was not for recreational purposes."

Politicians voted to table the issue until Oct. 1 when Chief Richardson will return to council with more information regarding photos and the size of the fire.

In a separate incident in June, the Uxbridge Fire Department handed out an invoice of $37,107 to a woman after an April fire got out of control and burned 50 to 70 acres. Her appeal to councillors to forgive the fee was unsuccessful.

source
http://www.durhamregion.com/news/articl ... rd-bonfire
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Re: Last week's firepit-caused house fires

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:11 pm

Jennifer Walker
Oct 14, 2012 - 4:30 AM

Uxbridge man burned with bill for service from fire department

Kirk Hugh to pay $1,230

UXBRIDGE -- After an Uxbridge man tried to appeal an invoice from the Uxbridge Fire Department after his backyard bonfire was left unattended, council made a final decision and Kirk Hugh is being asked to pay $1,230. But he has other plans.

Mr. Hugh initially approached council on Sept. 17, requesting he be relieved of the fee as he did not know he was required to have a burn permit before having a fire on his Mill Run Gate property. But council requested more information from Fire Chief Scott Richardson which allowed them to make a final decision on Oct. 1 at a committee meeting.

Mr. Hugh previously told politicians that he started the fire in his yard after trimming shrubs. The fire was almost out when he went inside and left his cousin outside to supervise the pit, he said.

But according to Uxbridge fire captain Troy Jackson, who was first on scene, a large amount of heavy black smoked filled the sky, which led him to believe it was a possible house fire and three trucks were dispatched. Once he arrived, no one was in the yard monitoring the fire pit, he reported.

Fire officials announced that they were on the property but had to knock on the front door to find Mr. Hugh, said Mr. Jackson.

"There was no black smoke, nothing like that," Mr. Hugh maintained in an interview.

Mr. Hugh, who has lived on the property for one year, also noted that a neighbour who called the fire department had previous problems with the resident who lived at Mr. Hugh's residence and believed they were still residing in the same location.

"This turned into such a big issue out of nothing," he said. "I am not planning on paying, I think I am going to call my lawyer."

According to Chief Richardson, Mr. Hugh has been issued a "fee for service" under a municipal bylaw as the fire department is unable to issue fines.

According to the bylaw, which can be found on the Township website, any person who fails to comply can be hit with fees for service. People can be charged $410 per hour per fire department vehicle, and $205 per half hour per vehicle for each additional half hour.

The incident report stated the resident was burning brush as well as construction materials and left the pit unattended after dark.

But Chief Richardson noted that Mr. Hugh might have received the invoice even if he had a burn permit because the fire was still going after dark and fires after dark are only permitted for recreational purposes.

Chief Richardson said the size of the fire also determines if it was meant for recreational purposes. Mr. Jackson was unable to provide politicians with photos of the fire but noted that the pit was six feet wide.

"Once the call is dispatched, if there is heavy smoke we go with all the trucks for a potential house fire," said Mr. Jackson. "There is no way we can stop halfway because we think it might be nothing."

Council then voted that the bill stand as presented.

"They are there to protect our residents," said Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor. "The bills can be large but there is a cost for our fire department. We should not be challenging the fire department as to what their job is and if they're doing it properly. You're doing a job and we appreciate the job you are doing."

________________________________

Uxbridge man handed bill for $1,300 after backyard bonfire. UXBRIDGE -- A man has asked council for relief after getting a $1,300 fire fighting fee after a neighbour called the Uxbridge fire department to put out a backyard fire. September 17, 2012 Celia Klemenz / Metroland

Three residents appeal fees for service in last four months
Within the last four months, three residents have appeared before council requesting to be relieved of fees for service after failing to comply with fire bylaws and permit requirements.

Minutes before council made their final decision for resident Kirk Hugh, another resident, Isidore Papadopoulos, requested his fee, more than $1,200, also be lifted. He also threatened to take legal action if the results were not in his favour.

Politicians refused to comment on the matter.

According to Mr. Papadopoulos, he had a permit when he decided to have a backyard fire during evening hours in early spring. But the permit was not the right one.

Someone then called the fire department, which then arrived and put out "most" of the fire, he said.

Mr. Papadopoulos previously asked the fire department to split the bill in half but his request was denied, he said.

"It is possible court action will be taken against the municipality and the fire department so we won't comment at this time," said Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor. "I can't allow council to comment...If we don't give you what you want, you will take us to court and I can't say what is going to come out of this."

Following the committee meeting, politicians had an in-camera meeting to discuss the matter.

source
http://www.durhamregion.com/community/c ... le/1517006
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Re: Last week's firepit-caused house fires

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:08 pm

Gardner man injured in house fire

GARDNER -- An unidentified man was flown by medical helicopter to a Boston-area hospital after receiving second- and third-degree burns from a fire in the back of his home at 325 Mill St.

Firefighters were called to the home just before noon Monday for a report of a fire that broke out in a fire pit behind the home. The man was initially taken to Heywood Hospital but was then taken to Boston. Lt. Mike Boris with the Gardner Fire Department said the cause of the blaze at the single-family home is still being investigated by the department. He said firefighters do have an idea of how the fire started, but he declined to elaborate. The house did not burn as a result of the fire, he said.
source
http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/rs ... source=rss
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Re: House Fires Caused by Yard Fire Pits

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:01 pm

Fire destroys Ewing home, kills pitbull after
outdoor fireplace left unattended


Emily Brill/Times of Trenton By Emily Brill/Times of Trenton
on January 21, 2013 at 6:33 PM, updated January 21, 2013 at 6:57 PM

EWING — Embers from an unattended outdoor fireplace ignited the deck of a Clamer Road home shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday, police said.

The fire quickly spread to other parts of the home, gutting the building and killing the homeowner's pitbull.

“It was a pretty bad fire,” Lt. Rocco Maruca said.

The woman was able to escape to safety with her other dog, police said. No injuries were reported.

Police determined the fire was caused accidentally.

The homeowner told police she thought she had put out the fire in her chiminea, a freestanding fireplace kept on the deck, before she went to bed around 11 p.m.

Officers were called to the scene at 4:47 a.m. on a report of flames coming from the back of the house. Nearby homes suffered minor damage as well.

The early-morning fire is a stark warning residents should take care with any chiminea, making sure the fireplaces are not left unattended on a flammable surface, police said.

Contact Emily Brill at (609) 989-5731 or ebrill@njtimes.com.

source
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2013 ... cart_river
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